《TAIPEI TIMES》 Public favors ‘forever maintaining status quo’: poll
Panelists attend a news conference hosted by the World United Formosans for Independence in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter
Public support for maintaining the “status quo” forever across the Taiwan Strait has been growing over the past three years, a survey released yesterday showed.
Asked about their view on Taiwanese independence or unification with China, 44.3 percent of respondents supported “forever maintaining the status quo,” up from 42 percent and 40.8 percent last year and 2021 respectively, a poll by the World United Formosans for Independence and the Taiwan National Security Association showed.
Only 3.8 percent of respondents supported “independence as soon as possible,” while 0.7 percent supported “unification as soon as possible,” it showed.
The trend suggests that Taiwanese have become “more conservative” amid heightened tensions across the Taiwan Strait and around the world, said Chen Kuan-hsien （陳冠憲）, a researcher at the association.
Another 35.8 percent of respondents supported “maintaining the status quo while working toward independence,” down from more than 40 percent in the past two years, while 11.5 percent supported “maintaining the status quo while working toward unification,” an increase from lower than 10 percent in the past two years, it showed.
The results align with changes in respondents’ perceptions about identity — fewer people identified as “only Taiwanese” and more identified themselves as “only citizens of the Republic of China,” Taiwan Statebuilding Party chairman Wang Hsing-huan （王興煥） said.
Taiwan New Constitution Foundation deputy director Sung Cheng-en （宋承恩） warned that China is determined to “take back” Taiwan and is focused on political warfare and propaganda to influence Taiwan’s elections in January.
Beijing’s attempts might include increasing its political and economic pressure on Taiwan and using the Internet to sway public opinion, he said.
China is “nurturing political agents” in Taiwan to help spread US skepticism narratives or rumors that the Taiwanese economy is reliant on China and that China’s system is superior, he said.
Asked whether the government should pro-actively advocate for establishing diplomatic relations with the US, 29.5 percent of respondents strongly agreed, 17.9 percent moderately agreed and 30.5 percent took a neutral stance, the poll showed.
On forming a military alliance with the US, 41.8 percent of respondents strongly agreed, 17.5 percent moderately agreed and 21.3 percent took a neutral stance, it showed.
The Focus Survey Research was commissioned to conduct the survey, collecting 1,084 valid samples from Monday to Wednesday last week, half by landline and half by mobile phone.
It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points.